There are tears. There are moments when you try to talk yourself out of it.
You tell yourself that it’s for the better, that you’ll grow. But you know that leaving will mean enduring some heartache for a time.
No, I’m not talking about your first love. I’m talking about your job. I’m talking about the difficult decision to let go of a job that you love, and move on to the next phase of your career.
It might be one of the hardest decisions of your young adult life.
After years of toiling away at babysitting gigs and barista shifts, you finally found a job that you loved. It was interesting, exciting, and you loved your co-workers like a family. But over time, the shine wore off, and you found yourself feeling stuck and itching for a change. That lovin’ feeling was gone.
And that is perfectly okay.
Listen to your gut. Though you may feel an overwhelming cocktail of emotions – excitement, guilt, fear, relief – no one knows what you need better than you. But for those still on the fence, here are three tell-tale signs that it might be time to let go and move on:
What to Consider When Deciding to Leave
1. You’re just not that into it anymore. You used to practically skip into the office at 9 a.m. every morning, ready to rock the world with your enthusiasm, passion and drive. You stayed late when it was needed, you took on extra projects, and you soaked up every possible learning opportunity.
But now… you wake up dreading another day at the office. You roll into work at 9:15 every day. When your boss offers you a new project, all you can think about is how this is going to add to your already full plate.
I am a highly conscientious person, so when I started feeling like this at my current job, I immediately knew that it was time for a change. I barely recognized myself. I knew it was time to find the fire again.
2. You start playing the field. One of the most obvious signs that it’s time for you to move on is when you start actively exploring other options. I’m not talking casually cruising job boards to get a sense of the local job scene – I’m talking careful, deliberate scouting for specific opportunities “just to see what’s out there.”
When your goal at networking events is no longer to promote your work within your company, and becomes about marketing yourself, something has changed. The grass starts looking quite green on the other side.
And that is just fine. But a word to the wise: don’t be sneaky. It is perfectly acceptable to apply for other jobs while still in your current position, but don’t go behind your bosses back to network within your industry. It is always best to be as transparent as possible.
The last thing you want is for your director to hear from their colleague that you approached them about a job. Not good.